7 Tips to Ensure Your Content Increases Traffic to Your Online Store
Customer reviews are a bridge that gaps word of mouth and viral marketing campaigns on social media and other channels.
According to a study published by Oberlo, more than 8 consumers out of 10 heed the words of an online review before they make a decision about spending money on goods or services.
As such, Shopify store owners should look to get as many reviews on their store so that they can have a booming business.
Having an all in one review management system for Shopify makes it easier to keep track of the reviews, particularly when there are a lot of different products. However, such a system will not go far without a substantial number of customer reviews.
In case you are on the fence about implementing customer reviews on your store, this article will change your mind. Moreover, after you learn why customer reviews are necessary to have on a Shopify store, we will also cover the most effective methods to encourage customers to write and leave reviews on your site.
The Value Customer Reviews Provide
Creating and managing customer reviews might seem like a hassle, but the effort is worth it for a number of reasons besides the obvious improvement to conversion rates.
Credibility, Authority, Social Proof
People are social creatures, and they follow the ideas of others. Since we live in the digital age, it is easy to find like-minded people who share their ideas. Social media is a prime example of such a platform.
Shoppers are more likely to make purchases if those around them agree on their decision. Online reviews do not necessarily have to be written by someone we know personally. A stranger’s review, so long as it is genuine and valuable, will encourage a purchase.
Positive reviews also build credibility. There is a significant difference between an online store that lacks user reviews and one that has multiple in-depth feedback threads left by customers.
Consider the fact that people are less likely to trust businesses that are rated below certain thresholds. Meanwhile, above-average ratings increase the likelihood of attracting more customers.
Customer Service Improvements
Reliable customer service is one of the cornerstones of a successful online store. By collecting reviews, you can gather a lot of valuable intel on what makes customers happy and unhappy.
While studying the positives, you can improve your product and services even more because you know what makes customers happy. Say that they appreciate the TAT for getting the product or how flexible the delivery was, and they could arrange the time and place that suited them. If so, encourage your delivery partners to continue with such behavior.
Now, when it comes to negative feedback, and there will be unhappy customers, you can take their thoughts and use the information to improve. Keep in mind, though, that criticism coming from customers should be justified.
If someone is unhappy for no good reason and is using the platform to vent, do not take their word to heart. On the other hand, when they have justified concerns about a checkout process, the lack of payment options, or the product itself, you need to react.
If the majority of customers are satisfied with their journey from purchasing to getting and using the goods or services, you might not benefit as much improvement-wise, but it is still worth your while to keep an eye on reviews with some negativity to them and make adjustments accordingly.
Better Understanding of Customers
Even if you have a good idea of your targeted demographic, you can gain additional insights from customer reviews. Similar to how you collect information to improve your store and products, you can also take advantage of the feedback to see what your shoppers are like and what makes them tick.
For example, you may encounter reviews starting with something along the lines of, “I am a 30-year-old male and…,” or “I have moved outside of the big city to discover that this is…,” which gives you a better idea of the customer demographics. From here, you can consider adjusting your targeting campaign and seeing if it improves conversions.
Keep in mind, though, that you need a decent sample size to make important decisions. Do not shift focus because of one or two reviews.
Customer Voice and Loyalty
Reviews provide customers with a channel where they can express their opinions. Such a platform is great for building loyalty because a customer who is bothered with writing a review on a product is more likely to get attached to it. Not to mention that a positive review is a clear indication of their satisfaction.
Simple reviews can turn into discussion threads when other customers reply to the original review to agree or disagree. The discussions that ensue can lead to as much as developing a small community that likes to spend time in the discussions under the review section.
If that happens, it might be worth your while to further encourage the community-like feel and give your customers a more optimized platform to interact with one another and the Shopify store’s staff. For instance, you could create and moderate a social media group or an online discussion forum.
Often underestimated, but it is worth noting that customer reviews are user-generated content that can give significant juice to search engine optimization.
These days, it is common for ecommerce stores to have dedicated blogs for publishing original content to improve SEO and even create collaboration opportunities with guest posters.
However, it is more or less impossible to create and publish articles with all the relevant keywords, meaning that customer reviews that have unexpected keywords in them can create new ranking opportunities and attract new shoppers.
From social media and PPC to influencers and email marketing, there are a lot of different marketing channels that you can base your strategy on, but they do not necessarily translate into good results.
Struggles with marketing campaigns lead to seeking new methods that could salvage the problem of new customer draught.
Looking at the bigger picture, customer reviews function as a marketing tool that is free (if you are not paying for the reviews, that is). If ROI from other marketing tactics is not worth the resources, an ecommerce business can adjust its strategy and leverage customer reviews as much as it can.
The last thing to consider is the snowball effect. After a customer writes and submits a review, the review will get noticed by other shoppers who might want to make a counter-argument or agree with the thoughts expressed in the original review.
More reviews mean more interest and publicity for a business, and that translates into better conversion rates, sales, and other milestones that an ecommerce store wants to reach.
How to Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
Customers who purchase goods or services on your Shopify store are reluctant to spend more time on a website than they need. Therefore, you need to come up with strategies that will encourage customers to write and submit their reviews.
Leverage Social Media
If you have a social media presence, leverage it by redirecting followers to your ecommerce store. Followers who are interested in giving their feedback can share their thoughts on a question that you posted.
For instance, if your ecommerce store is thinking about adding a new payment method, ask social media followers what they think about it. Or maybe there is a product that was discontinued, and a vote to bring it back could be one of the things to include in a review.
Leveraging social media will bring more reviews to the store, but it will also function as a means to boost SM engagement.
Offer Great Customer Experience
Great customer experience is one of the keys to get more reviews. Shoppers who are happy with their experience are more likely to express it because they want to reward a store for providing a positive shopping experience and a good product.
Of course, it is important to consider the entire shopper journey and ensure that each step is smooth. From navigating the site and checking product pages to getting in touch with customer support and completing the checkout process, encountering small bumps is enough to dampen the overall experience, which discourages reviews.
Ask and Follow Up
Sometimes, simply asking for a review is enough to persuade customers. A Shopify store could have a pop-up that appears after someone purchases the product, and this pop-up should ask for a review about the overall shopping experience.
In a similar vein, you could also send emails a couple of days after the goods are delivered to the customer. In an email, ask if they had a chance to use the product and whether they are willing to leave a review on the website and share their thoughts.
Follow ups might seem like overdoing it because if someone said no the first time, they are unlikely to respond positively after a second attempt. Nevertheless, it is important to note that a customer might have forgotten about the request to submit a review or was too busy at the time to bother writing a review, so they put it off for later. A follow up email or an SMS serves as a reminder and should help with getting more customer reviews.
Make Submission Simple and Provide Templates
Some online shoppers might want to leave a review, but they do not know how to do that or what they should write in it.
Considering this fact, more stores should implement a system that simplifies the feedback process. Instead of asking customers to write a review from scratch, you could introduce a survey-like tool where they rate each process of the customer journey from 1 to 10, and can leave a short comment at the end.
As an alternative, you can redirect them to a review template page on a third-party site or even create a video tutorial explaining how to write and submit a review.
The important thing to note is that not all shoppers are creative enough to write a review, or they cannot be bothered to create one from scratch. Therefore, you should look for solutions to accommodate these customers.
Reply to Reviews
A reply to a review from one of the staff members will raise attention right off the bat. Customers who see Shopify store’s staff engaging with the reviews will take notice and think that the workers care enough to take time to respond.
Another thing to consider is that getting a response from the staff leads to some customers thinking, “I could also get attention from them and feel better about myself after submitting an in-depth review.”
Sure, when there are many reviews, responding to every single one can be quite difficult if you do not have someone dedicated to it. At the same time, hiring an employee who would be in charge not of customer support but reviews could prove to be a valuable investment.
The simplest solution to encouraging customer reviews is to give customers an incentive to leave them. Of course, it is important to weigh the value of a review and whether investing resources into encouraging more customer feedback will pay off in the long run.
Having said that, some common incentives to generate customer reviews include:
- Free shipping on their next purchase
- Exclusive discount codes
- Custom merchandise knick-knacks like pens, caps, or notebooks
- Entry tickets to a contest or giveaway that is happening on the website or one of the social media platforms
After customers see that there is something extra for them if they submit a review, they will be more inclined to sit down and share their thoughts about your store.
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